There are nine candidates running to replace Tony Thurmond, current Assemblyman of the North Oakland/Berkeley/Richmond District in the state assembly since he has decided to run for State Superintendent of Schools rather than continue in the Assembly.
Most of these candidates are not household names, although it may be argued that most assembly reps are fairly unknown even to their constituents. Go on–ask the next 4 people you meet who their state rep is, either assembly or state senate. I’ll bet if 1 in 4 can name them, your friends can be classified as political activists.
Most folks can tell you that Oprah may (or may not) be considering a run against Trump or Pence or Ryan or Hatch or Tillerson or the monster from the Upside Down… Liberal women and many men are excited at the prospect of an actual self-made billionaire who is also a Black woman that white women might actually switch racist allegiances for while my lefty friends are freaking out over another celebrity presidency. Lighten up folks, it was just one speech, one heart melting, tear inducing vision of justice and compassion and a way forward out of despair…sigh. Anyway, I only brought it up to trick you into reading this blog.
The Nameless Faceless Masses…
For the 15th AD are in no particular order, really, none:
- Judy Appel (Democratic) – Member, Berkeley USD
- Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto (Democratic) – Councilmember, El Cerrito
- Cheryl Sudduth (Democratic) – Compliance officer
- Andy Katz (Democratic) – Member, East Bay MUD
- Dan Kalb (Democratic) – Oakland City Councilmember
- Ben Bartlett (Democratic) – Councilmember, Berkeley
- Jovanka Beckles (Democratic) – Richmond City Councilmember
- Owen Poindexter (Democratic) – Writer
- Buffy Wicks (Democratic) – Political consultant
Among these I’d give Buffy, Dan, Jovanka and Judy top mentions as the candidates most likely to succeed– and I bet you never heard of Buffy but that’s how big time endorsements and piles of cash work. Two of these hopefuls have to get through the June primary after which they will run against each other in November for the spot in Sacramento.
I have my faves but I still need to see a little more from these folks to make my decision, as much as my decision matters, unless it can help you make yours. But first you have to know my criteria. Here some of them are—
Costa Hawkins Repeal or will you support cities being able to protect renters?
That’s the gist of a 1995 law that outlawed local municipalities being able to enact renter protections on single family homes and units built since at least 1995 which also allows vacancy decontrol-where the landlord pushes you out so they can raise the rent. A huge percentage of renters in Oakland are threatened with displacement daily based on this law.
Assembly Members Bonta [hint:many of my readers may live in his district https://a18.asmdc.org/district-map] and Chiu are sponsoring the repeal of this regressive law. It doesn’t mean protections will then be enacted but it no longer prevents them from becoming law.
Hearing in Sac on Thursday
So if you want my undying love and maybe even my endorsement-which translates to a vote in the local Democratic Party-show up for the hearing, this Thursday, January 11th, 9 am at the State Capitol, maybe even speak in favor but the least you can do is endorse it, AB 1506.
Beyond renter protections what additional ways/revenues will you propose to increase all levels of affordable housing? This is an issue of desperate importance to most Bay Area folks and probably to most Californians. so be prepared with solutions.
Make it Fair California/ Close the Corporate Loophole, etc
These have been the names/branding of the movement to reform Prop 13 which ended up benefiting corporations more than homeowners and shrinking the budget for schools and roads, etc, permanently.
“Make It Fair closes the $9 billion commercial property tax loophole by assessing under-valued commercial properties at their actual value. This creates a level playing field among businesses and ends the unfair advantage given to big corporations. Make It Fair guarantees Prop 13 remains in effect with no changes for homeowners, residential renters and farmers. This is only about changing the commercial property tax loophole.”
You gotta support it and tell me how you’re going to help it pass-requiring a ballot measure-since it could result in at least $9 billion added to the state treasury. Given the new GOP tax law that will really hurt California, this is more important than ever.
Criminal Justice Reform-Who’s watching the “Protect & Serve” Crowd
It’s time to repeal the Copley Decision in which “the court ruled that police disciplinary hearings are closed — and the public has no right to learn about allegations of police misconduct, even when they are aired in a civil service commission.” Rather than lead as we have done in other policy areas, California has lagged behind most other states since 2006 in our ability to police the police.
The Copley Decision has not even gotten a fair hearing by legislators as they are afraid to challenge police unions on the basic rights of the policed, especially the overpoliced. Will you stand up to this special interest group?
Ferguson Report & California
I have seen a willingness of the current legislature to reform the kind of punitive measures that the DOJ’s Ferguson Report documents, “The city’s practices are shaped by revenue rather than by public safety needs.”
But we still use revenue enhancement to guide criminal justice laws in our state and local governments rather than making the criminal code less punitive to poor people where the infraction is less a public safety threat than a bureaucratic means to filling government coffers. And that reminds me, will you vote to end money bail as proposed in SB 10, https://www.aclunc.org/article/california-money-bail-reform-act-2017. It didn’t make it through the last legislative session so may come back with a new number designation but please tell me you can vote for it or campaign for it right now?
Healthcare for All is more than voting for SB 562
If you’ve read the controversy on the stalled California healthcare overhaul, you might agree that it’s a multi step process and may have to be carried out in increments rather than one fell swoop. Our system is a hodgepodge, some of which works for a segment of the population, much of which leaves large swaths out. But we know from the first years of Obamacare that confusion breeds fear and we need as smooth a transition to full coverage as we can get.
So tell me how you will attack that need and what steps might see us through to our ultimate goal of healthcare for all? I really don’t want to hear simplistic notions of an easy answer to please the crowd. I wanna know you understand some of the complexities of switching out of private, federal and state coverage without leaving folks behind. It is doable so how will you do it?
You may be tired of reading cause you are running a campaign, dialing for dollars, hiring consultants, filling out lengthy questionnaires, and finding someone to go out for your dry cleaning so I’ll list some of my other “demands” just in case you care:
Full support for SB 100 and a return to local control in regulating air pollution from refineries, transparency for charter schools with a goal of ending the privatization of our public school system, a return to the Higher Ed Master Plan, a way to end any kind of support for private prisons, a bill of rights for immigration detainees, sigh, so much more. Now tell me your priorities…
Pamela A Drake, local Democrat